Businesses in Saudi Arabia face repercussions for ignoring COVID-19 regulations

The violations were detected by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority during inspection visits to a factory and four warehouses in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Updated 23 October 2020

Businesses in Saudi Arabia face repercussions for ignoring COVID-19 regulations

JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has referred five establishments under its supervision to the Ministry of Interior due to their failure to adhere to COVID-19 precautionary measures.
The FDA announced that violations were detected during inspection visits to a factory and four warehouses in Jeddah. The violations were reported to the Interior Ministry to take action against violators.
The violations include a lack of commitment to safety instructions such as taking employee and customers’ temperature prior to entering the facility, wearing face-masks and securing sanitizers in designated places.
The authority had previously issued a detailed guidebook that addresses preventive requirements to help facilities of food, drugs, cosmetic and medical equipments to limit the virus outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry continues its inspection campaign — in place since the virus outbreak — on private health facilities to ensure compliance with precautionary and social distancing measures, where violators are to be referred to the concerned authorities.
Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly warned on Twitter against a second wave of COVID-19 in the Kingdom. “If we do not all adhere to the preventive measures and if the lack of cooperation and loosening of commitment continues, then we will be at risk of a second wave and an increase in case numbers,” he said. “We do not want to reach this stage.”
“The steps to prevent that are simple; wear a mask, keep a safe space, wash or sanitize your hands, take a test when you contact a confirmed case or witness symptoms in yourself.”
Saudi Arabia reported 401 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, meaning that 343,774 people have now contracted the disease. There are 8,343 active cases receiving medical care, while 791 are in critical condition.
In addition, 466 patients have recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 330,181.
The ministry also announced 15 new COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday. The death toll now stands at 5,250.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 7,562,663 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 53,523 carried out in the past 24 hours.


Saudi aerial photographer reveals secrets of AlUla Old Town to global audience

Updated 25 November 2020

Saudi aerial photographer reveals secrets of AlUla Old Town to global audience

  • Use of drones by cameraman brings history to life in one of KSA’s most famous archaeological sites

MAKKAH: A Saudi aerial photographer’s passion for history has won him global acclaim for images revealing the secrets of AlUla Old Town.

Ali Al-Suhaimi’s eye-in-the-sky portrayal of the famous Islamic city has helped to provide a fresh insight into the past lives of the inhabitants of the now deserted settlement.

AlUla Old Town, located in the north of the Kingdom about 20 km from the archaeological site of Mada’in Salih, is seven centuries old and filled with mosques and markets that reflect its beauty and heritage.

Rich in history, the region was an ancient trade station linking the north and south of the peninsula and one of the main stopping-off points for pilgrims traveling between Syria and Makkah.

Al-Suhaimi told Arab News that his inspiration to photograph the area from the air came from his deep-rooted desire to find out more about the country’s ancient civilizations.

“The idea from the onset revolved around simulating the history of AlUla region, which has become one of the most important heritage attractions on a local and international level.

“The location includes stone landmarks and high mountains which set a breathtaking rocky harmony depicted by the drones of aerial photographers.

“It was the place of people who set the link with us on architectural and human levels. 

The region is one of the great forgotten treasures of antiquity. (Social media)

They built a town which bears witness to the magnificence and cultural depth and momentum of its human legacy,” he said. Studies of AlUla’s castles have proved that the site was once a thriving community, Al-Suhaimi added. “Photographing these places in all their detail only adds to my enthusiasm for transmitting images to a world craving for the secrets of these places of old times to be unveiled.”

The high-flying lensman has snapped all of AlUla Old Town’s castles and villages, as well as the castle of Musa bin Nusayr, and the Aja and Salma mountains which rise to 1,000 meters.

By using drones, Al-Suhaimi has been able to get close-up pictures of the houses and buildings that occupy the site. “There are monolithic houses that reflect the depth of relationships that linked those people who fused with each other as if they were one family.”

HIGHLIGHT

AlUla Old Town, located in the north of the Kingdom about 20 km from the archaeological site of Mada’in Salih, is seven centuries old and filled with mosques and markets that reflect its beauty and heritage.

He pointed out that although the houses seemed to be randomly clustered together, they were actually “architectural enigmas” which had been cleverly designed to ensure a smooth flow of air in and around them.

Aerial photographs of the town had also raised questions about how its people had been able to move around from building to building in such a close-knit environment.

Al-Suhaimi said he had gained all the necessary licenses to operate drones in the area. “We were keen on taking pictures and transmitting them to the whole world, as internationally it is one of the most outstanding Islamic cities. Its mud houses are living witnesses that resisted time.”

He added that he had been astonished by the positive global feedback from his photographs of the region. One notable feature of AlUla Old Town is the Tantora sundial. The shadow that it cast was used to mark the beginning of the winter planting season.

“They set stones atop one another so that the shadow would be projected on the tip of the stone once per year, which is evidence of the astronomy legacy of the people of the region,” said Al-Suhaimi.